'Monster' destroyed the lives of children and now he's paying the price for it

Mark Ward
-Credit: (Image: Merseyside Police)


A prolific paedophile "destroyed" the lives of countless children and is now spending decades behind bars.

Mark Ward has been locked up in prison since 2007 after being brought to justice for his perverted crimes, and has now been handed yet another jail term for sexual offences. He abused and raped the victim in his latest court case on a boat and in a disused building, chillingly telling him on one occasion: "You know I'm not a person to be messed around."

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday afternoon, Friday, that the now 63-year-old abused the boy when he was aged around 11 over the course of up to two years in the early 1980s. During one incident, Ward invited him onto a boat which was being kept on wasteland.

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Peter Wilson, prosecuting, described how the pervert then masturbated in his presence within the cabin and told him to "help him out". When the youngster refused, he "became aggressive" and said he "didn't care what he wanted".

Ward, of no fixed address but from Netherton, ignored his pleas that he wanted to leave and undressed him before attempting to rape him. He thereafter invited the complainant on a trip to Southport, but the schoolboy instead returned home.

A second assault occurred after the defendant took him to a flat and stripped him naked. The victim was "terrified" and "feared he wouldn't make it out of the room alive" and kept his eyes closed as he was sexually abused while Ward, who was then aged around 20, told him "he was safe and he would look after him".

Another incident saw the child lured to a derelict building opposite Bootle Town Hall under the illusion that he was being taken swimming. Instead, his abuser raped him after telling him to "relax".

Ward then struck for a final time after spotting the complainant playing football with his friends in a field. At this, he whisked the boy away to a house where they performed sex acts upon one another as he threatened: "You know I'm not a person to be messed around. "You want to see your mum and dad. You don't want harm to come to them."

Ward's vile behaviour was latterly reported to the police during 2020. When interviewed by detectives the following year, he denied his offending and said that "allegations were made against him every four to five years".

He appeared to be sitting with his head in his hands at times as his victim bravely read a statement to the court during his sentencing hearing, telling him: "I was an every day, happy child. I loved to play with my friends, carefree and safe from harm, until I had the misfortune of crossing your path.

"Once the abuse started, I never looked forward to playing with my friends again. I spent many happy times with them. I became withdrawn from my friends and family. Your threats of violence kept me silent from telling anyone I loved the most. I became two different people. I was petrified with fear and anxiety.

"I was always thinking that if anyone found out, I would be harmed. I felt broken, wrong and ashamed of what you did. I have been carrying your monster around with me. Your shame wasn't mine. I have always felt that I was cursed by Mark Ward. You are a predatory, narcissistic paedophile who liked to control children for you own gratification.

"For 40 years, you could have confessed your crimes against me. You chose to take no responsibility for what you did to me. I am now a survivor and no longer Mark Ward's victim. He is a self serving manipulator."

Ward has a disturbing stack of previous convictions for sexual offending against children, including receiving 15 months for indecent assault and perverting the course of justice in 1993. He was then handed six years in 1995 for buggery.

In 2009, Ward was given an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of three years and 158 days for rape. Then, in 2014, he was sentenced to 17-and-a-half years for rape, buggery and indecent assault.

Ward was last before the courts in 2016, when he received another 17 years in prison plus a one-year extended licence period for buggery and indecent assault. He would have become eligible for release from this term in February 2025.

David Farley, defending, told the court during his latest appearance: "He understands the harm that is caused by the activities he has pleaded guilty to. He ran away from home, and when he was 15 he was put into care. A chaotic life of survival led on in his late teens. He admits the predatory nature of his offending.

"Mr Ward, for a significant part of his sentence, was in denial and not accepting of the harm he caused until he did a course at HMP Rye Hill, which has led him to fully accept what he has done and the harm he has caused. He does show some victim empathy and shows remorse and understanding. He has been invited to take medication which has affected his libido. He is unable to perform in that way now.

"Since he has turned the corner, he has done everything he can to rehabilitate himself. He has tried to use his time to make it of some value."

Ward admitted buggery, assault with intent to commit buggery, two counts of indecent assault and two charges of indecency with a child. Appearing via video link to HMP Whatton, he was jailed for a further six years and nine months.

Sentencing, Judge David Aubrey KC said: "You are, or were, a serial sexual predator. You have, on numerous occasions, groomed and sexually abused many young boys.

"By so doing, you have destroyed the lives of many. As such, you have been in custody since 2007.

"On many, many occasions you have targeted vulnerable young boys and, on occasions, either used or threatened violence upon them and exercised or sought to exercise power and control over your victims. You certainly, in the past, have been highly manipulative in that which you have done, and that which you have done is deviant behaviour of considerable and the utmost gravity.

"You destroyed his childhood innocence. He has been carrying the burden of that which you did to him all those years ago.

"This court has no doubt that he will continue to carry that burden. In effect, you have sentenced him to a sentence of life.

"You broke him. But, nonetheless, he did have the courage, finally, to inform the police as to that which you had done to him in the early 1980s.

"In effect, you remain subject to a sentence of life imprisonment. As you know only too well, you will only be released when the parole board assesses that you are safe to be released."

Ward was also handed an indefinite restraining order and told to sign the sex offenders' register for life. He is already subject to a lifelong sexual harm prevention order.

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